A World War II veteran who provided the flag in the famous flag-raising on Iwo Jima has died. Alan Wood was 90.
Wood’s son, Steven, says his father died April 18 of natural causes at his Sierra Madre home.
Wood was in charge of communications on a landing ship on Iwo Jima’s shores when a Marine asked him for the biggest flag that he could find. Wood handed him a flag he had found in Pearl Harbor.
Five Marines and a Navy Corpsman later raised the flag on Mount Suribachi as Allied forces struggled to capture the Japanese-held island. The stirring moment was captured in an iconic image by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.
Steven Wood says his father was always humbled by his small role in the historic moment.
A North Carolina man who mailed his Purple Heart home from France almost 70 years ago is getting it back in a ceremony in Rutherfordton.
Ninety-year-old George Hemphill will reclaim the Purple Heart he earned during World War II in France at a ceremony Sunday. He mailed it home and assumed it was in a box of his medals that he didn’t open.
A Florida man bought it in an antiques store in Columbia, S.C., in 2000 and held on to it. His friend found Purple Hearts Reunited, a Vermont organization run by Capt. Zachariah Fike. Fike tracked down Hemphill, who also will get a Bronze Star in Sunday’s ceremony.
Hemphill says he’s flabbergasted that so many people worked to reunite him with his Purple Heart.
A veterans group has replaced a Purple Heart and other medals stolen from a World War II machine-gunner in San Diego County.
U-T San Diego reports that 88-yar-old Clyde Kellogg wept Friday as United Veterans Council Chairman Jack Harkins presented him with a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other commendations he earned during 21 years of service.
Kellogg was shot in the throat during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1943. He noticed that his original medals were missing last week from the wall of his enclosed patio. Kellogg says they’ll be kept inside from now on.
Sheriff’s officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest of the thieves.
A postcard mailed nearly 70 years ago has finally arrived at the former upstate New York home of the couple who sent it.
The postcard was sent July 4, 1943, from Rockford, Ill., to sisters Pauline and Theresa Leisenring in Elmira (el-MY’-ruh).
Their brother, George Leisenring, was stationed at Rockford’s Medical Center Barracks at Camp Grant, an Army post during World War II. Their parents were visiting him when they mailed the postcard home.
The postcard reads in part, “Dear Pauline and Theresa, We arrived safe, had a good trip, but we were good and tired.”
Elmira’s Star-Gazette newspaper reports (http://stargaz.tt/R2Ou5H ) the postcard arrived last week at the family’s former home, where a different family now lives.
A postal official says the postcard may have been found by someone outside the postal service and placed in the mail.
Information from: Star-Gazette, http://www.stargazette.com
A photograph of a 93-year-old World War II veteran casting what will likely be his last ballot has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of Internet users.
The photo shows Frank Tanabe lying in a hospital bed at home as his daughter Barbara Tanabe helps him fill out his absentee ballot. A half-million people saw the picture on the website Reddit after his grandson posted it there on Thursday, making it one of the most popular items on the social media network for a day after.
“True Patriotism,” was the top rated comment on the post. “This is America. Amen,” was next, followed by “Thank you, Citizen.”
Doctors diagnosed Tanabe with an inoperable cancer tumor in his liver two months ago. He’s been in hospice care for the past three weeks at his daughter’s home. His condition has been deteriorating, and he’s been speaking little lately.
He’s been determined to vote regardless, eagerly asking when the ballot would be arriving in the mail, his daughter said. She kept telling him, “don’t worry, it’s coming.” He filled it out immediately when it landed in the mailbox on Wednesday.
Barbara Tanabe read aloud the names of the candidates to her dad. He either nodded “yes” to the names or shook his head “no.” She filled in the boxes on his behalf, following his instructions even when he didn’t pick the people she wanted.
“There were some that were OK, but there were others where I said, `Dad, are you sure?”‘ she said.
But he knew what he was doing. He’s kept up on the issues, reading newspapers regularly until only recently, she said.
Tanabe volunteered to join the Army from behind barbed wire at the Tule Lake internment camp in California. He was pulled out of college at the University of Washington and taken to the camp when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered 110,000 Japanese-Americans detained and isolated after the start of the war with Japan.
The Army assigned Tanabe to the Military Intelligence Service, a classified unit whose members were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last year along with soldiers who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team — highly decorated segregated units of mostly Japanese-Americans.
“I’d like to accept on behalf of all hyphenated Americans, including American-Americans,” Tanabe told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser at the time. “We all served together in defense of our country.”
Noah Tanabe, the grandson who posted the photo online, said he thinks about his grandfather every time he votes.
“It’s hard to imagine — after his family business is torched, his family imprisoned, and denied the opportunity to finish his college education – he volunteered to serve. I don’t know if I would have done the same thing, but we are all very proud of him,” he said.
The family has been surprised and gratified by the online comments on the photo, Barbara Tanabe said.
“I think he feels like joining the Army, going to the camp, fighting in the war, and fighting discrimination — these were all things he did so that we have this precious right to vote,” she said. “For so many people to express their heartfelt tribute to my father was really, really heartwarming for us.”
Several Reddit commentators asked whether Tanabe’s vote would be counted if he passed away before Election Day on Nov. 6.
Glenn Takahashi, Honolulu election administrator, said absentee ballots cast by voters who later die become invalid if the state Department of Health notifies elections officials of the death before Election Day. To void a ballot when that happens, officials have to be able to sort through tens of thousands of ballots to find the one in question. This is not always practical, and so the ballot is counted if it isn’t.
A similar situation arose in Honolulu four years ago when President Barack Obama’s grandmother died two nights before the election but after she mailed her absentee ballot. Hawaii counted her vote anyway because the Health Department didn’t receive her certificate of death before the election.
Barbara Tanabe said her father, a quiet, unassuming man, would wonder what the fuss over the photo was about. But he’d be thrilled it encouraged others to vote, she said.
“That would be the ultimate honor for him,” she said.
An 86-year-old military veteran from suburban Philadelphia has belatedly received several medals earned for his service in World War II.
The Bronze Star and Purple Heart were among the nine medals awarded to Montraville “Monty” Lybrand on Friday.
The presentation took place in the Springfield office of Rep. Patrick Meehan, who helped secure the honors. Meehan says many veterans didn’t get the recognition they deserved in the rush to come home.
Lybrand left his Philadelphia high school to join the Army in 1944. As an infantryman, he suffered shrapnel wounds to his chest during the 1945 invasion of Okinawa.
After the war, Lybrand got married and began working for the Veterans Administration in Philadelphia as a claims examiner. He retired in 1981.
The Iowa class battleships were considered by many to be the greatest battleships ever built. This book covers the Wisconsin inside and out, from the plotting rooms to inside her mighty guns, here is your chance to see the Wisconsin like never before. Photos from WWII through her Gulf war service give you a panoramic view of the great ship’s history.
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Starting with eyewitness accounts of discoid craft during and after World War II, this shocking documentary goes on to discuss Foo-Fighters and Ghost Rockets. It then launches into the Vril Society, Hitler s secret weapons, and the amazing technologies developed by Viktor Schauberger and others. Plenty of diagrams and incredible photos of supposed Nazi flying saucers and cigar-shaped craft; Nazi bases in Antarctica; Nazi/Japanese attempts to reach Mars; plus Hitler s Midnight Secret, the rare documentary in German included as a bonus. Get ready to experience the most frightening military UFO cover-up ever exposed! Includes Mini Movie Madness and other extras.
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The discovery of a World War II veteran buried in a cardboard box at Florida National Cemetery has triggered outrage in Congress.
Workers made the discovery after they removed a headstone at the cemetery in Bushnell during routine maintenance, myFOXtampabay.com reported Saturday.
The veteran named Lawrence Davis Jr. died in 2004 and had no loved ones to make funeral arrangements for him. He was buried in a shallow grave with no casket.
The medical examiner sent Davis’ remains in a cardboard box, and they were buried in the same box.
Veterans Affairs manager Maurice Roan said, “We usually bury the container they come in as long as it’s sealed. We make every effort to make sure they get a dignified burial.”
He added that the department goes out of its way to show dignity and respect.
Florida National Cemetery holds a special service for all veterans who are buried without family present. Their names are read in a service that takes place four times a year. But giving it the power to purchase caskets for deceased veterans would take an Act of Congress.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said, “We’re not going to treat the veterans of this country that way. We’re going to ensure there is a dignified burial.”
Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., both support a new bill called The Dignified Burial of Veterans Act of 2012. It would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to review its burial standards and would authorize it to purchase caskets or urns for all veterans in our national cemeteries.
Arkansas authorities say World War II artifacts have been stolen from the estate of a veteran who was a member of the company that inspired the “Band of Brothers” book and miniseries.